For just one moment, let’s put aside the fact that Christian Bale, a very good actor, is already playing Batman, and the third Bat-movie is already on track.
It’s so obvious, and yet it didn’t occur to me until I was in the middle of a “Mad Men” marathon a few weeks ago. If you’ve watched the show, you know that Hamm’s portrayal of tortured soul/sexy scoundrel Don Draper is one of the best things on television. There are already so many elements of classic Bruce Wayne in Draper, a ‘60s-era Manhattan ad man with more secrets than a Hollywood starlet’s plastic surgeon. Besides, we know Hamm has love for the geeks, as demonstrated by his Funny or Die video turn as Lex Luthor.
And just look at the man. In a tux. Meow! (Warning: Images may cause spontaneous drooling.)
In the “Batman” movie of my dreams, Hamm would play an older, wearier Dark Knight in a more classic bat-suit and setting. While origin stories make financial sense for studios, they’re also kinda played out. It’s potentially much more interesting to see a character after the superhero bloom is off the rose. When you’ve spent years fighting twisted villains like the Joker, Hush and Scarecrow, how does that affect your relationships with other people, to say nothing of your psyche? And what happens when you’re cruising toward middle age and your body, however rigorously trained, has taken repeated beatings? In Batman’s case, the results rarely have been pretty, but often gripping.
This isn’t intended as a slam of Bale, who has been a perfectly solid Batman. However, I think a quieter, more mature-skewing version of Bruce Wayne’s story would appeal to a lot of moviegoers, especially with the talented Hamm on board. Must every cape movie be based on the (presumed) fantasies of 15-year-old boys? And yes, I’m aware that this idea probably has zero chance of becoming a reality. A gal can dream.
As long as I’m playing studio overlord, I’m casting Christina Hendricks, who plays “Mad Men” bombshell office manager Joan Holloway, as Vicki Vale. Hollywood, if you insist on pimping the same A-list heroes over and over, at least make it interesting.